Jupiter has led the way in our transition of the larger, thematic planets in our Spring-time group transition from above to below and vice versa. Ruler of Sagittarius and Pisces, Jupiter’s purpose is to propel us into higher states of spiritual awareness and communal consciousness. And, in the fire sign of Aries, its trajectory into the atmosphere promises to be vigorous and goal-oriented. Our job here below is to exercise caution in the speed and direction of this god of fire and water, lest it either destroy both friend and foe in its wake, or overrun itself and use up its energy too quickly. Competitive long-distance runners call this phenomenon “hitting the wall,” and, unable to keep pace with the stresses and strains accumulated from starting out too fast, melt into a puddle of wobbly muscles on the side lines. Letting Jupiter reach its zenith in good time will result in a wondrous 4th of July sparkle of good fortune and benefit for all.
Next up to hit the surface of our large, oceanic transition zone is Chiron on February 8, when she enters Pisces. Classified astronomically as both a large comet and small planetoid, its continued conjunction with Neptune during this season gives her a much larger punch than if she were on her own. Discovered in 1977, much yet remains unknown about this goddess and the depths of her influences. Astronomically, Chiron has a highly elliptical orbit and takes 51 years to circle our sun. It is believed that she is an escapee from the Kuiper belt, that mysterious area of our galaxy that lies beyond Pluto and is home to over 35,000 celestial bodies. Her full meanings will not be understood until we understand more about that plutonic region of our space minds.
Astrologically, Chiron is understood to symbolize the wounded healer. She is an ambassador of our personal plutonic selves. Chiron was the last of the centaurs, half-human, half-horse beast. The centaurs were a wild bunch of undisciplined characters and all classified as minor planets. These boys ate, drank, raped and pillaged their way hither and yon. They represent the unbridled, emotionally reactive, passion-driven area of the human psyche. Chiron, however, was different from her brethren. Because of her dual nature (comet and planetoid), Chiron’s duty was to tame this uncontrollable bunch of forest hooligans, managing their entries and exits through the field of the inner and outer planets – the margins between the regions of our conscious and unconscious brains.
Chiron’s own story is that of a self-inflicted wound, when she accidentally shot herself in the foot with one of Hercules’ poison arrows. The irony here is that Chiron herself taught Hercules how to make that very weapon. A beautiful lesson in karmic circularity, as well as the dynamic of self-healing. Being immortal, Chiron could not die and also could find no remedy for the now continuously festering wound. She was finally healed of her disease when, in an act of great compassion (Kuan Yin, the compassionate warrior is our model here), she gave her life to save that of another.
Barbara Hand Clow, in her book Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, associates Chiron with the social and cultural movements that were emerging at the time of her discovery. Those were, astrology, body/mind healing, alternative medicine and divination abilities. I would add here the re-emergence of the sacred feminine principles of non-hierarchical spirituality, honoring of the nurturing earth qualities and the valuing of relational networks, which are now coming to fruition in the sustainability movement.
The split between animal and human is indicative of our desires to transcend our lower impulses and personal, mortal wounds and, like Jupiter, align ourselves with a higher spiritual order. Let us note that Jupiter’s symbol is also that of the Centaur who has lifted his arrow and aimed for the heavens. Careful where you point that thing!
Chiron has been traveling through the air/mental sign of Aquarius since 2004, allowing the cosmic anthropologist in each of us to examine the diseases and wounds that affect our brain functioning. Like a cognitive behaviorist in a psych lab, our job during this time was to understand exactly how we allow our neuronal patterning to channel us into immediate, reactive behaviors of our lower form (Chiron’s animal half). The outward manifestation of such thought forms involves our propensities for manipulation, deceit and violence. Indeed, Americans in particular have become increasingly more likely to engage in fatal acts involving all three of these behaviors, both nationally and internationally, than any other country on the planet. Dissecting how we (and the black psy ops branches of the military/industrial complex) have managed to direct our activities like lab rats is where we should have been focussing our attention over these past 7 years. An animal is trainable, a human is educable, or so we hope.
Our task is to heal ourselves from these mental dysfunctions, cultivate discernment (Chiron’s higher half) and distinguish ourselves from Temple Grandin’s circling cattle on their way to the slaughter (or murderous rampages). I highly recommend the film. Like a detained prisoner resisting and/or de-briefing from the effects of brainwashing, if we have been attending to our mental diseases, we should be in a position to delve clearly into the deep emotional wounds we have been storing in our bodies, which is what Chiron in Pisces is going to ask us to do for the next 7 years.
Chiron through Aquarius was our opportunity to explore space on the deck of the Enterprise and actively play with our mental constructs on the holodeck. Remember that the characters in Star Trek were actively aware of and in control of the parameters of the realities they constructed in their holoworld for self-discovery.
Chiron in Pisces is our opportunity to shine a light on the undersea world from the port windows of the Calypso. Yes, there are very, very weird creatures down there, from giant squid to blind, albino crabs. It is critical to remember that we are the navigators of the ship and in charge of the scenes that unfold on that new aquatic holodeck. The denizens of the deep move in a medium (water), with which we are unfamiliar, landlubbers that we are. That medium is fluid and much of it is without hand holds. It is an impressionistic world more akin to the entheogenic dreams of a shaman than it is our world of check-out scanners, newspapers and SUV’s. Of course we can become reactive to it, freak out, panic and blow the oxygen tanks, running out of air before we reach the surface. That is a choice we can make. Or not.
When we begin our dive with Chiron, we begin the descent alone into uncharted waters. Anxiety and uncertainty will accompany us and we will fill discomfort as we get used to this environment. And, because we have been neurologically well-trained for juvenile, subjective, emotional reactivity rather than adult, objective, feeling responsiveness (which is what our training here should give us) we will be feeling uncomfortable, claustrophobic and smelly. In our conventional, dominant, adolescent culture, emotions=girls=smelly/icky; reason=boys=clean/pristine. Time to undo those 7th-grade associations. This is the mind/body healing Chiron is meant to bring. She will initially be carrying those wounds alone into the waters.
Neptune, however, the goddess of the ocean, will join the wounded healer on her journey when she enters Pisces on April 4th. The deep is her domain and she will arrive to lend her wise presence and thorough knowledge of this feeling, dreaming, visioning world to Chiron’s healing path. We do need to understand that, in giving up our small identities as a drop of water to merge with the wide and vast ocean, we allow ourselves to connect with the deeper, common woundings and heartaches all of us hold together. If we allow ourselves to give up our oars and our boats, we gain the freedom of streaking through uninhibited blue terrain like spinner dolphins in Kealakekua bay. Neptune arrives to teach us to translate the meanings of those strange clickings and siren songs of the cetaceous world. There is a coherent language resonating in those depths, in the heart of our feelings. Our purpose is to communicate it to our left brain selves in order that the mental and emotional parts of psyches may be healed and re-united into higher mind (Chiron’s highest order). Neptune wants to unify and transmit that common humanity and, if we allow her to do so, we will find ourselves cleansed in the ancient ritual baths of our ancestors. Our personal wounds can (and will if we let them) wash away in the sacred springs. When we emerge from this submersion, we have the opportunity to be anointed with the oils (scents/sense – spirituality – higher chirotic function) and dressed in robes (new beginnings) of a culture that may lead us to a real and lasting peace and prosperity with each other.
Imagine the new mother giving her baby a bath. She observes the baby’s startle response at a sudden, unknown stimulus (splashes of water on the face), and waits for the child to settle in to the new sensations. Slowly, with loving hands, she washes its body. She sings and coos and brings comfort with her presence. Then she towels and rubs and laughs with vigor, guiding the child through the maze of new experience. This is the largesse of Neptune functioning within the mundane. As we descend into our own personal oceans, we would do well to remember we have known the beauty of Neptune’s embrace since we were first born. She held us, indeed, even before that, safely within her very womb.
A useful book in understanding Chiron, the wounded warrior/healer, is The Book of the Five Rings, by the samurai warrior, Miyamoto Musashi. In this text, Musashi demonstrates how one may master each of the elements in order to defeat the enemy. The secret in this teaching is that the word “healer” can be substituted for the word “warrior” in order to understand how to defeat and banish disease from the mind and body. The exact same principles apply, though to different ends. There is, indeed, a long tradition in eastern philosophy and martial arts that when the warrior retires, she becomes a healer. This is Chiron’s destiny in our charts and her purpose at this time is to lead us into our emotional depths.